It must have been an April fool’s joke it could not have been anything else, or so I thought, it is so ridiculous. I have been fishing from childhood, in lakes, in the sea and now, years later, the government suddenly wants to charge me for fishing in the sea. The fact that it’s a ruse to get more money to pay for the war, which none of us wanted, is believable, and if true would only add salt to the wound. As far as I know the government has only jurisdiction on the coast between high and low tide. I remember having to get a way leave for doing work below high tide. If it wasn’t a joke, I would have thought that the legal departments of the government would have pointed out that the government has no jurisdiction beyond low tide and therefore no right to charge for fishing from boats. I was not aware that fleets of foreign trawlers, fishing off the coast are paying dues to this country for the privilege of doing so. But even if they are, to charge a man for the standing on the shore on his day off to put a piece of string with a hook on it into the sea, with no guarantee of a return, is ridiculous. Is it so vital, that the government is prepared to waste our taxes supervising this farce, collecting the money, and running it? I could only believe, in view of the month, that it was an April fool’s joke, and should have been promulgated on the first of April. However, because last evening, 11th of April, it reappeared on the Northern Ireland News, one has to believe it is fact. I have long been convinced that there are people working for the EU and Number 10 who have so little to do they think up asinine legislation, rather like others might do the crossword puzzles.
It would be rather interesting if on a given day, right round the country, those living within easy access to the sea, should all take rods and pieces of string with a weight on the end of some, bait-less hooks on others, and put their lines in the sea to confuse this vast band of men who are going to be policing this heinous activity of murdering, if they’re lucky, a few fish
The bane of the elderly. I don’t know precisely what people are being paid today who are doing the job I did when I retired, but I suspect that it is five or six times what I now receive as a pension, which is allegedly half pay. What is happening to pensioners and the people on lower incomes shouldn’t happen to a dog.
The incredible rise of single-parent families within the country, together with the fact that a lot of young women become pregnant so that they are entitled to a small dwelling, and get away from home and the environment that they don’t like, is putting a tremendous burden on our housing stock. This in turn has the knock-on effect of making housing so expensive, that the young married people cannot get on the housing ladder, and the pensioners are penalised to such an extent, that they can’t help. The pensioners are in a Catch-22 situation. When they fall ill, as a fair proportion do, the money they had scraped and saved to help the families will be eaten up paying about 500 hundred pounds a week for sheltered accommodation, or taken at 40% in inheritance tax when they die, because their houses have risen in value to such an extent. Those pensioners on low incomes, with little savings, are finding that their take-home pay has diminished appreciably, because for long periods their dividends and pensions have been tied to bank rates which have been lower than the cost of living index.
The Conservative Party in Northern Ireland. Recently a questionnaire came round to the houses in our district, asking our political views. Clearly the Conservatives feel that they can offer an alternative solution to our problems if they are selected. Whether this is true or not is beside the point, because politics here have devolved into nothing more than a bipartisan system on tribal lines. I personally found it ludicrous that Eire is subsidising the British economy by several million pounds, indeed I’ve found it degrading and Blair should be taken to book for allowing it to happen.
For almost 40 years we have been hoping to get back to those halcyon days of 1968, when politics was the last thing on the mind of the major portion of the population, and Catholics and Protestants were living side-by-side amicably. Instead of which we’re back into the bad old days of charge and counter-charge, rhetoric and the blame game. We need yet another party like a hole in the head, the more parties we have the more the vital votes are split and manipulation and tactical voting produce the same old results.
When you consider that the Unionist party, which used to dominate the horizon for eons, only now fields one member of Parliament, the writing is on the wall. I find it incredible that David Cameron would allow his name to be used on a circular, when anyone with any political knowledge of Northern Ireland would know that at this time it was a total non-starter